Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Rich Are Evil

Impartial as ever, the BBC decided to title a documentary on the subprime crisis 'Super Rich: The Greed Game'. Lest we fail to pick up on that subtle hint, just about every interview was topped and tailed with footage of private jets, tropical islands, diamonds and the like.

Some would say this implies a certain degree of bias on the BBC's part. Me ? I'm just happy they specified 'Super Rich' - you wouldn't want to confuse them with the merely rich like Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton and all the other folks getting by on a few million licence payer pounds per year. Ditto, the company that produced a sickly testament to the glories of Messers Sue, Grabbit and Runne like 'New Street Law' is hardly in a position to complain about the excesses of the rich.

Still, what of the show itself ? Well, apparently, banks are evil because they lent too freely before, and also evil becuase they lend too conservatively now. The sub-prime crisis proves dog-eat-dog capitalism doesn't work, especially because government regulation meant banks could make insane deals knowing the state would pick up the pieces if it all went wrong. Also, we're going into recession because nobody's investing, but private equity firms are vultures waiting to prey on weak firms.

While it was nice to see George Soros introduced as a financier, rather than as the funder of various freak show leftist groups, I would have appreciated at least one person around to point out the role of the Community Reinvestment Act in all this. Might the number of bad loans out there be somehow connected to laws requiring banks to suspend the normal rules of underwriting ? The BBC ain't telling - after all, they need to leave space for more footage of people wearing diamond watches as they fly to Fiji on their jet.

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